Seniors Will Holden and Jacob Schultz from Vanderbilt's Camping World Independence Bowl squad have received national recognition as scholar athletes.
Holden, an offensive tackle from Green Cove Springs, Fla., and Schultz, a specialist from Murfreesboro, Tenn., have been named Hampshire Honor Society recipients by the National Football Foundation (NFF).
The Hampshire Honor Society, now in its 11th year, celebrates collegiate players who play starting roles on the football field and hold a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher.
Holden, a three-year starting tackle, completed his undergraduate work toward a degree in Human and Organizational Development last December. Schultz, a two-year starter, is expected to finish undergraduate work this May with majors in Molecular and Cellular biology and Medicine, Health and Society.
The two Hampshire Society recipients plan differ career paths after graduation. Holden looks to continue his gridiron career in the National Football League while Schultz expects to begin postgraduate studies at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.
Holden started 35 games as a Commodore, initially at right tackle as a sophomore, then at left tackle as a junior and senior. In 2016, league coaches named Holden as a second team All-Southeastern Conference performer after he played a huge role on the offensive front as Ralph Webb established new single-season and career team marks.
As a senior, Holden registered more than 30 pancake blocks while going against some of the nation's top defensive ends. Holden also earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for his blocking performance in Vanderbilt's impressive 38-17 victory over Ole Miss.
After the Independence Bowl, Holden impressed pro scouts at the East-West Shrine Game, Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. He is expected to become the first Commodore offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft since current New York Jets center Wesley Johnson was taken in the 2014 draft.
Schultz started his Commodore career as a preferred walk-on, playing behind standout snapper Andrew East as a freshman and sophomore. He earned the role of conversion snapper as a junior, serving two years as a starter. He also contributed as the long snapper for much of the last two seasons.